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Russian-backed militants teach children handle weapon in occupied Donbas

More than 5,000 children were trained in such camps
18:04, 3 December 2018

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More than 5,000 children in occupied Donbas were trained in the so-called “patriotic camps”, where they were taught to handle weapons and hate Ukraine, as Pavlo Lysyansky, the representative of Parliament’s Human Rights Ombudsman in Donetsk and Luhansk regions said, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

“We saw the occupants attracting children to the military conflict. They have developed a net of camps of the so-called patriotic education. Do you know what kind of education? Love to “the Russian world” and hatred to the Ukrainians and Ukraine,” he noted.

Related: 28 children die in hostilities in Donbas this year, - OSCE

Besides, Lysyansky added that according to the monitoring of the situation in occupied Donbas, children starting from nine years old take machine guns, they are taught to set them up and dismantle.

“More than 5,000 children were trained in such camps,” he stressed.

Related: More than 23 children suffered from Donbas conflict from beginning of 2018

A far-right youth camp in Ukraine's western Ternopil region is training children to defend their country from Russian invasion. "Boys and girls at the 'Temper of will' camp - organised by the nationalist Svoboda party - are taught to carefully aim their assault rifles as their instructor offers the advice: 'Don't think of your target as a human being,' Daily Mail reports.

This training was visited by The Associated Press journalists, who witnessed racism and hatred spread among children as young as eight. "We never aim guns at people," instructor Yuri "Chornota" Cherkashin tells them. "But we don't count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow, as people. So we can and should aim at them." 

The nationalists have been accused of violence and racism, and this summer camp endorses white nationalistic rhetoric against LGBT rights and Muslims, as The Business Insider reports.

Related: Three children killed by mine explosion in occupied Horlivka

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